Beverly Hills Academy : The Royal Affair
Chapter 126 : The Nightmare At The Cemetery...
( Astheria, Australia. "Stop! I'm sorry. " Esmond gushed and shifted closer to Natalia in fright. "Just say my name alone and let's go. Please?". "Don't you want it dramatic again?" She teasingly narrowed her eyes. "No! Don't you know spirits move around during sunset? It still creeps me out till now. " He whispered, his eyes fearfully darting around. A cold feeling swept through Natalia as she looked around as well. That part of the palace was near the rich woods which was already dark. The darkness was slowly creeping to where they were which creeped her out!. "Stop joking. How did you know? Who told you that?" She whispered back, scooting closer to him until their frightened bodies pressed. "My sister. I never believed her until she died. I used to stay at her grave until I started seeing strange stuff after sunset. " Natalia immediately stood up with her phone. "Let's go. I'm tired of sitting here. "But you haven't intro. " He started but she rudely cut him off. "They already know who you are!" She impatiently grabbed his hand and pulled him out, walking cautiously when they passed the darkened woods. Suddenly, Esmond La Croft started chuckling. "Stop laughing. " She scolded, still looking over her shoulders to be sure they weren't followed by unthinkable things. But his stifled chuckles only graduated into a laughter!. Natalia turned over to scowl at him. But then, her stupidity vanished and she glared instead. "Were you. Did you make that up?!" She yelled. Esmond hastily shut up seeing her upset look. When his guilty profile didn't offer an explanation, she angrily flung his hand away and stormed ahead, her red dress flowing behind with the wind. Esmond caught up with her and apologized but Natalia ignored him, persistently walking ahead even though she was barefooted. She'd left her flip-flops behind in her desperate. but now, silly bid to run away. Esmond caught up with her again and swiftly lifted her bridal style. He felt guilty for more reasons now. Natalia gasped and held on tightly. "What are you doing? Put me down!" She demanded. "You'll hurt your feet and I won't forgive myself knowing it was my fault. " He softly whispered. "Tch! You can put me down if you think it'll make me forgive you so easily. " She snorted and looked away. Esmond hid a smile. "I wasn't lying to you. But I'm sorry all the same. "Then why were you laughing?" She accused, deeply scowling. "Because you looked so cute. " He confessed and Natalia flushed unknowingly. She looked away to control it. "I really saw things back at the La Croft's cemetery when my sister died. My parents tried to stop me from going when it started to affect me psychologically, but I was sort of a rebel. "You see, my sister and I had found secret passage ways hidden in the palace so it was easy to sneak past security. " He started. "Secret passages? I thought those were only myths?" She curiously turned back to him. Esmond warmly held her gaze. "They're not. Every Palace in history has one. Ancient kings used them as handy escape routes when their palaces were under attack by enemy forces, whether internal or external. It was necessary. '' Natalia frowned. "How is it I never found ours? And why didn't anyone tell me??" She couldn't stop her pout. "Alexis, you were fully protected and you weren't naughty like we were. Esmeralda and I were so mischievous that it freaked our parents! She was the brave one while I was the always scared cat
"Nothing ever scared her! Including those creepy tunnels that aren't exactly safe where one could easily get lost. " He paused, as an emotion made him a bit withdrawn. "I was watching from a secret passageway that fateful day when the doctor told father she wouldn't survive the night. ''. Natalia's heart froze. "I'm. I'm sorry. " She whispered. Esmond held her well. "After she was buried, I spent days with her at her grave because she was the only friend I had. My introvertive side became worse and I slowly turned into this freak who'ld rather spend time with the dead than with the living. " He chuckled bitterly. Natalia unconsciously wrapped her arms around his neck tighter, like it'ld bring some consolation. "One night, I lost track of time and stayed at the cemetery till midnight, after fooling mother and father I was safely tucked in bed. '' They entered through one of the palace's side gates and met the bowing guards on duty. But Esmond turned and continued towards a particular orchard. Natalia flushed when she noticed the stares from the royal staffs but Esmond didn't seem to care. "I really saw strange things that night. I thought it was all in my head until I caught something scary watching me from the woods. The fog was thick and the moon was just starting to come out so I couldn't see clearly. "I screamed my voice out and ran away! The noise alerted the guards on patrol but they couldn't find the 'ghost' as I'd called it. It wasn't there anymore. In fact, the entire place was back to normal with the fog totally gone!. "The next morning, father flew me out of the Empire for psychological checkups and I couldn't really blame him because I knew I needed it. I got attached to Europe and decided to live there. "The nightmare at the cemetery was like a message from my sister, telling me to stop being miserable and live a happy life. One without her. And it worked, I guess. '' He concluded and gently dropped Natalia. "Sorry for being mad at you. " She bit her lower lip. "You're not forgiven. " He said. She raised her head to stare at him. Until you have dinner with me. " Esmond smiled and looked ahead. Natalia also turned and her jaw dropped the next second. ~~~. "How did you have all these prepared if you'd just arrived?" She grinned at the lovely, outdoor dinner. Currently, they were waltzing to a slow music. "Who said I came now?" Esmond returned her smile. "Actually, I came in an hour after you did. Natalia's eyes widened. "How did you. "Your royal assistant?". "That snitch!" She silently growled making him chuckle. "So why did you come?" Natalia raised her head back. "I'm still a bit introvertive in this aspect. So the grand plan is to get you drunk and then tell you. So you'ld forget all about it by tomorrow. " He whispered his confession. She snorted cockily. "Keep dreaming! My brain is tougher than a computer. You can as well just spill it. "Do I have to drug you instead?" He pursed his lips playfully. "No. "I was. I was deeply worried about you. " He admitted. Natalia's heart was touched. "Why? I'm really fine. " She said and he shrugged. "I guess I'm being too clingy. I know it's annoying and I'm sorry
"I've noticed you apologise a lot. It's not really cool if you ask me. Most of the time. the world takes advantage of nice people. " She muttered from experience. "And concerning your apology? Esmond, you're genuinely thoughtful so there's nothing to be sorry for. " She gave him a small smile. His ears went red instantly. Natalia was stunned. "Are you blu. "I'm not. " He interrupted, the red color continuing spreading. "You are!" She accused, grinning like a witch. "I'm not!" He denied again. Natalia moved her hands from his neck upwards and tauntingly stood on her tiptoes. Esmond stopped dancing and stared at her. "Don't worry. You're good now. " She teased after covering his reddened ears. Natalia knew that the more she saw it, the more she'ld be tempted to laugh! So she helped him hide it further. But Esmond wasn't listening anymore. He was lost staring at her and she noticed. "Hey, are you. " He closed the little distance between them and captured her soft lips. ***. ( Beverly Hills, California. "Merry Christmas, A!" Tommy squealed and hugged his older brother excitedly. Arian's coffee almost slipped off his fingers. The little fox had been doing the same thing every hour since that christmas morning. "Another one??" The young master asked in mild bewilderment when he passed him another wrapped present. Tommy nodded and grinned happily. "Thanks for being my big brother!". Arian tried a smile and dropped the gift on a side table where the others were stacked high. "Thanks, T. "Aren't you gonna come downstairs? Everyone's over there. " He jumped on the couch with him. Arian crossed his legs and returned to his phone. "Not interested. 'Yeah. But you're interested in stalking HER on social media!' His subconscious snickered. 'What happened to getting over HER?'. Arian breathed out helplessly and stalked to the windows, feeling suffocated. He shoved his hands into his pants and stared out the cold walls. He was getting over her. How hard was it to say something and mean it?!. "Hey, Tom. Do you wanna get some fresh air?" He turned to his brother. The little fox raised his head from stuffing his cute chubby mouth with almond cookies and mischievously smiled. ***. ( TEN MINUTES LATER. "Check out those costumes! They're so cool!" Tommy squeaked excitedly at everything he saw. A carnival was happening on the streets of Beverly Hills but thankfully, the traffic wasn't so bad. Arian drove his favourite convertible without his personal guards trailing behind. Don't ask how. and felt the wind blow into their hairs, ruffling them in the process. He was restless. Too restless for some reason which made him mad at the same time!. He checked Tommy's seatbelt repeatedly to ease his tension which the little fox didn't even notice. His excited eyes were glued to the masked dancers performing stunts on the streets to cheerful spectators. Arian tore through to the end of the city and reversed, stopping occasionally at each traffic light. His restlessness made him tap his fingers on the steering wheel impatiently, rake his hair frustratedly and check the time repeatedly!. What was wrong with him??!